Did you know that 40% of homeless youth identify as LGTBQ, and in many cases, their coming out to their family is why they have ended up out on the streets? Once homeless, they are at a disproportionately higher risk of sexual exploitation and attempted suicide. Qadriyyah brought a critical community need to the attention of SJCS, and in doing so, set into motion a series of events that resulted in the SJCS Oasis Program, which serves 18-24-year-old youths experiencing homelessness.
The Oasis program was created to be just that, an Oasis, a place where a young person experiencing homelessness can catch their breath, get access to vital resources and support needed to stabilize, and take their next steps when ready, in order to create a better life for themselves. In this Advocates for All interview, Alan Thornton, SJCS President & CEO, touches base with Qadriyyah Johnson, SJCS Quality Assurance and Improvement Coordinator, who drives the organization toward change and is continuously ensuring we are providing the best services possible for the individuals we support through SJCS programs. True advocates like Qadriyyah are the future of SJCS, exemplifying how we each can take our individual compassion and affect real change in our communities for those who need it most.
SJCS strongly believes that regardless of an individual’s circumstance, whether that be economic status, race, religion, age, mental or physical disability, sex, sexual orientation or identity—the people we serve, our employees and those we encounter in the communities we serve, deserve the right and opportunity to live their best lives. Our video series Advocates for All, are compilations of candid, personal and in-depth interviews with individuals sharing their experiences, ideas, and thoughts on what it means to be an advocate, an ally, and a member of our incredibly diverse community.
We are St. John’s Community Services and we are Advocates for All!